san francisco redesign | the living room
by christina britt lewis
the best relationships are when both people feel like they are the lucky one.
i can't believe that tim lewis picked me. i mean, TIM LEWIS, you guys.
and for reasons i do not understand...
he can't believe i picked him even though it's wicked obvious to like everyone 'cept for him.
somebody we both went to college with called to hire us.
it has been 30 years since our freshman year in college. 30 years.
she explained who she was, but i remembered exactly who she was as soon as she said her name.
i told her that her call felt like finally being invited to sit at the cool kid's table in the cafeteria.
she said something like...
yeah, you weren't cool in college, were you?
all i really remember about you is that you are that girl from boston that tim lewis married.
so, see? i totally am the lucky one and this is my song. can't sing it without twirling around the room.
when our california client called she was all... "i can't believe you will come to san francisco!"
and i was all... "i can't believe you want us to come to san francisco!"
we both felt like the lucky ones.
she found us on houzz and fell in love with our philosophy...
you do not need all new everything to have a happy home.
and after 1 day of shopping and 1 day of redesign...
sometimes i feel like you must get tired of me saying the same things over and over again...
but i swear, you guys...
you can do this.
you can make a fun and happy home.
you can do this on a super tight budget.
you can do this in a weekend.
you can do this without the help of a designer.
create furniture groupings that are conducive to conversation and game-playing and toasting.
bring it in. closer. tighter.
off the walls.
collect things that make you feel all warm and happy inside.
it doesn't have to be expensive to be beautiful.
the only rule is "do i LOVE this?"
if you LOVE it, it will work.
real plants are everything.
they are good for your health and good for our world and good for your soul.
sooo many people say "but i can't keep them alive" ... us either.
think of plants as fresh flowers. for most of us, they won't last forever. but they bring so much goodness.
replace them when they die. they are not expensive.
and eventually you will find plants that surprise you with their will to live.
take your home less seriously.
pottery handmade by the little people you love deserves a place of prominence.
a bowl full of clementines on the coffee table makes people feel comfortable.
they know this a place where people are more precious than things.
and we can put our feet up and eat clementines in the living room if we damn well please.
open your windows.
fresh air, cool breezes, chirping birds, the smell of rain...
my mom calls it "airing out the house" and i do it as often as the weather allows.
i spent way too much of my life feeling notgoodenough, you guys.
and it wasn't just in my head. it's still not. i know side eye from a highfalutin designer when i see it.
some people just gotta put you down to make themselves feel better.
but fear not young ones, the older you get the easier it gets and the funnier it all becomes.
things that used to make me cry, now make me laugh. seriously.
to everyone who feels notgoodenough...
go for what you want anyway.
go for the home you want.
go for the relationship you want.
go for the career you want.
we can make our dreams come true.
we must shatter our own glass ceilings.
cool is overrated. we don't have to be cool to have everything we want.
actually, being uncool gives us something to prove to the world.
creativity comes from NOT having everything come easily to us.
creativity comes from having something to rise up against. to overcome. to conquer.
having something to prove to the world and proving it makes us strong.
so whether it's popularity or politics,
no more waiting and hoping some hero will save us.
time to redesign everything.
time to create the world we want.
time to save ourselves.
we are the hero we have been waiting for.
and to the naysayers who tell me,
"easy for you to say. must be nice to have people you feel lucky to be loved by."
i offer you this...
while there are some we need to walk away from because they just use us to get what they want,
there are no perfect people.
feeling lucky is a choice, a mind-shift, a way of life, a practice...
feeling lucky is deciding that what you already have is enough. more than enough, actually.
feeling lucky is viewing the world from a place of abundance, not scarcity.
tim and i spent years living in hell on earth before we learned how to love.
neither of us felt lucky for a very long time.
it's easy and natural to see the flaws in people. it's harder to find the beauty.
some people are super hard to love. some people make us feel very unlucky.
some of those people are family and we are super stuck with them. that sucks.
but i am almost 50 years old.
after that many years you start to notice nobody is perfect.
you are not perfect. you are hard to love too. you are. i am. we all are. own it.
once you accept that you suck a whole lot too, you are better able to accept the suckiness of others.
once you accept everyone's suckiness including your own, you start to see the beauty.
the beauty is always there.
even in the person whose political views are different from your own.
even here and now in our divided united states.
find the beauty. talk about what you love. celebrate the ways we are the same.
problems get solved when we focus on fixing ourselves, not other people.
forget about fixing others. not gonna happen. fix yourself. that's all you can do.
when it comes to other people, spend time looking for the beauty.
start by inviting them over for clementines in your living room.
gorgeous photo above by kelly lies,
who makes me feel like the luckiest person in the whole wide world.
to be continued...
christina for all
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